Business is taking off: Rex announces $25.1m pre-tax profit for financial year

The Regional Express Group, which provides flight services between Orange and Sydney, has announced a profit before tax of $25.1 million for the 2018 financial year.

The figure represented a 41 per cent improvement over the previous year.

Turnover for 2018 was $295.5m and profit after tax was $16.9m for FY18.

Rex Executive Chairman Lim Kim Hai said the strong performance was a testament to the dedication and perseverance of staff “who worked extremely hard … in spite of the acute pilot shortage hitting all regional operators”.

I would like to single out the pilot group in particular who has accepted last-minute call-outs so that regional passengers do not miss their hospital appointment or that important business meeting.

Rex's executive chairman Lim Kim Hai

“I would like to single out the pilot group in particular who has accepted last-minute call-outs so that regional passengers do not miss their hospital appointment or that important business meeting,” Mr Lim said.

“Rex and indeed the regional communities on our network owe them a huge debt of gratitude.”

Mr Lim said that while the outlook in the next 12 months was too uncertain for the board to issue a precise profit forecast.

He said if the Australian economy remains robust “as we have seen in the past two months, the board has grounds to believe that Rex could still achieve double-digit growth”.

Rex is Australia’s largest independent regional airline operating a fleet of more than 50 Saab 340 aircraft on some 1500 weekly flights to 60 destinations across all states in Australia.

Rex and Orange City Council entered a five-year partnership in May this year, which led to additional daily services, including a community fare scheme of $109 each way for flights between Orange and Sydney.

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